Take off, eh

At 7am EDT, the Sir John Carling building, a federal government building erected in Ottawa, Canada in the 1960s went down . Here's a video, if you are interested. TW for loud noises and, obviously, a collapsing building.

I saw it on my work commute every day. Yesterday we drove past it to show our kids. My husband suggested heading out this morning, but packing up two young kids and heading out for 6:30 on a Sunday morning was not going to happen. I didn't hear or feel a thing and we're maybe 10 min away by car.


It was occupied by employees of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada until a few years ago. It was granted heritage status in 2004, due to the fact that it was designed by Hart Massey, an architect of some renown and a member of a rather fancy family in Canada. Additionally, it was well-regarded as an early example of the modernist movement as it manifested in Canada. But a decade before that, there were concerns that this was not a building worth saving. It was full of asbestos (which was removed before the demolition) and was badly neglected. The government determined it would have cost ten times as much to fix it up as it cost to hire a world-famous demolition expert to come take it down.

Normally I'm really sad about neat old buildings being destroyed, and I am a bit, but on the other hand I'm not heartbroken. They're for the time being planning to make it into a park space, and plus there are some other awesome examples of Hart Massey's work in Ottawa, such as:

Hart Massey House in Rockcliffe Park.


Picnic shelter at Hog's Back Park

And as a bonus, they went to great lengths to preserve a cafeteria building a few metres away from the blast site, and it truly looks awesome! My husband suggested it would make a great event venue as it's near the Rideau Canal and Dow's Lake. I totally agree - maybe in time for my 40th birthday party in a few years?


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